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Immigrant in Sweden: a lifelong label?

The Local · 15 Nov 2011, 14:13

Published: 15 Nov 2011 14:13 GMT+01:00

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Last week, journalist Carlos Rojas wrote of the experience he and his friends had of growing up in the Stockholm suburbs

“They are Swedes, but were never viewed as such,” argued Rojas.

On Monday, however, The Local reported on a recent doctoral study which found that immigrant children in Sweden don't suffer extra stress because of their immigrant backgrounds.

The study found, rather, that there was no discernible difference in the mental health of children born to immigrant parents and that of children with Swedish-born parents.

Is being an “immigrant in Sweden” a label one must carry their entire life? Does that label necessarily a constitute a handicap to success in Sweden?

Have your say below.

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The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:38 November 15, 2011 by Zeffanyx
Surely they will be never viewed as Swedes.

We all must confess, that different cultures are somtimes not compatible at all. It's a big difference when Italian or Irish enter USA, and Somalian or Iraqi enter Sweden. The latter cultures are not compatible and will never integrate fully into society.

Of course we respect their faith and their culture, but an integration is simply impossible in this case. The next time some newly-swedish folks burn police station, destroy school or go out out in a riot - don't blame them directly. Blame that sedish betrayers who let them in 40 years ago.
14:46 November 15, 2011 by jvtx3232
That is fairly well put Zeffanyx. I agree that government policies put into place years ago are in large part to blame for the rioting and the other bad things that immigrants do. These policies ought to be reversed as soon as possible.

However, the individual is always responsible for his or her actions as well and ought to be held accountable when they throw a rock at a police car, set a building on fire, or attack Lars Vilks, etc.

The article asks:

"Despite being born in Sweden or having lived most of their lives in Sweden, the children of immigrant parents sometimes contend that they will never be viewed as "Swedes", but will instead always be thought of as immigrants. What do you think?"

The answer is of course they will always be thought of as immigrants because that's what they are, ipso facto.
14:53 November 15, 2011 by Kaethar
It depends entirely on the person. These children of immigrants for the most part do not view themselves as Swedish either, so how can Carlos Rojas expect the situation to look any differently? All people will make assumptions and life experience will tell us that the average dark-skinned person in Sweden does not see themselves as Swedish so that's the assumption people make.

But if a person with immigrant parents calls themselves Swedish the vast majority will accept this in my experience. And I have an immigrant parent myself.

As for being called "invandrare" as opposed to "utlänning" that's an even smaller category. I think most people realise that a person born in Sweden cannot be an "invandrare" - if they do not see themselves as Swedish they are seen by most as "utlänningar" though.
15:04 November 15, 2011 by bettan1
The immigrants here can dye their hair blonde and wear blue eye contacts and they'd still never be considered Swedish. That's just a fact of homogenous German/Nordic culture and don't expect it to change any time soon, no matter what the nation's propaganda brochure says.
15:19 November 15, 2011 by Roy E
It's a very bizarre phenomenon that so many people refuse to accept what they are and seek to be something that they are not. Then, when frustrated in this exercise of futility , they attempt to destroy the very essence of a thing through denial, altered definitions, and contrived artificial constructs. We see it across the board with race, gender, marriage.... The deconstructionists work their mischief and then move on, leaving a trail pieces in their wake, their synergy destroyed, mediocrity in place. This denial of basic truth is the great crime of postmodernism. It represents the abandonment of wisdom.

Expect an increasingly dysfunctional future as this trend remains fashionable. As the ancient Chinese proverb states: 'The first step on the path to wisdom is calling things by their proper name'.

Clarity is good. Obfuscation is evil.
15:21 November 15, 2011 by Skuzi
I think this applies to other nationalities as well. I feel literally 1000 miles away from my English home. This is probably because I don't know any Swedish people other than my Fiancée and her family, and that is purely down to the homogeneous nature of Sweden, It is difficult to make friends here. I personally feel that as soon as someone knows you can only speak English, without knowing you, they assume Eastern Europe, which is stigma I don't personally want. If I keep my mouth shut, I simply melt away. This cannot be done by everyone and I feel really bad seeing news like this all of the time. Sweden can be cold and not just the weather.
15:22 November 15, 2011 by Jes
Its all about context . The term immigrant may be good or bad , all depending on circumstancies . Even in USA , there are days when Irish Americans are proud to refer to themselves as "irish immigrants" - There are occasions when Latinos donnot want to be confused with Italian-americans

Most black Americans proudly identify with the continent where their ancestors were brought from .

The problem is when some one else uses the title with negative connations.

As I see it , in Sweden , there is no need for any one to be locked up in this box . My opinion is that confident immigrants are not bothered by labels . They know and are comfortable with who and what they are . The educated ones also know that the term "swedish " can be used to refer to race/ blood , rather than status/ nationality.
15:32 November 15, 2011 by cowboykodp
Immigration is generally a new Phenomenon in Europe.

In time people will be known as American-Swede, Iraqi-Swede, Somali-Swede, etc...,

just like in the US or Canada.

The vast majority of children of ALL immigrant groups assimilate quite well, despite all the self serving propaganda by our bigoted Local crowd.

Every single country in the world will look like the US and Canada in 2 or 3 decades. And there AINT nuttin anyone can do about that.
15:34 November 15, 2011 by Skuzi
@cowboykodp and it's a bloody good job we will "look like" the US speaking English, remember that cowboy.
15:38 November 15, 2011 by cowboykodp
What are you blabbering about Skuzi?
15:39 November 15, 2011 by occassional
The picture used answers it.
15:46 November 15, 2011 by Svensksmith
Good question. Does the immigrant speak Swedish, follow the Swedish customs, contribute to Swedish society? If so, then the immigrant will, in time, fit in.
15:47 November 15, 2011 by Brtahan
Yes its a life long label!!! as long as you are not white and blonde , immigrants with dark skin or hair ,Eq:Chinese ,Indian ,Middle eastern,African etc. Even if they are born here , they will be always considered as immigrants . As for the european who are blonde many of them change their names because they think that they will be treated as swedes. I have an example an african friend with swedish name who was adopted who i know is asked all the where she is from plus , if its cold for her in here etc.
15:53 November 15, 2011 by violet76
Agree. Traditions and Stigmas and Heritage cannot be changed easily. Swedes are known to be blond/brown hair people with Blue eyes. That how scandinavian people looked. Immigrants will always be immigratns
16:01 November 15, 2011 by pakitor
The babies of immigrants born here or in any other country who allowed the parents to enter, are not responsible neither guilty of the situation. Like any other human being, they deserve to be treated right with equal opportunities in the work place.
16:16 November 15, 2011 by truthworthy
Yes and neither do I consider myself Swedish and i don't give a sh*t.

Because as soon as my country gets peaceful, i will pack my bags and hej då.
16:22 November 15, 2011 by vijinho
For me the funny thing is that the Swede's quite readily accept that I am English, despite being brown-skinned (Indian ethnicity) as soon as they hear me speak.
16:23 November 15, 2011 by Fika
I think it is a lifelong label for some people and not for other people. There are 2 types of immigrants I can see here.

1) Western (UK, US, Ireland, Germany..... etc) from developed countries...

2) Eastern / African from under-developed countries with radically different ways of seeing things.

I am obviously generalizing, but from my experience it is how I see it. The first group is willing to integrate into society (learn Swedish or not learn Swedish does not matter) they make an effort to meet Swedish friends, and are generally accepted due to their race, culture and background. This group has a lot in common with Swedes as a culture anyway when compared to the 2nd group.

The second group is the problem group and generally does not want to integrate into society. These are generally the type of people who can give Swedes a bad name. Of course generalizing again but a large % of crime and violence in this country is from this group. This group is different from Sweden and many European countries so integration is always a problem.

Back to the original question. I think that there is a very small % of people born with immigrant parents in Sweden who will ever be called Swedish if they are from the 2nd group above. If they are successful (and I know people who are), then their parents did a good job raising them here and integrating themselves as Swedes. Well done...
16:25 November 15, 2011 by this_aint_sparta
It was once said "there is always room at the top", if you are good enough in what you are doing and if you are rich enough you will be very easily accepted but if you have ruined yourself people will distant, This Zalatan, dont the swedes cheer for him ?????
16:30 November 15, 2011 by eppie
Most immigrants for example are very able driving a car when they just arrive in Sweden. However, after 5 or 6 years being here they drive just as bad and are trafic-ignorant as the average swede. What more integration could we ask for?
16:40 November 15, 2011 by zircon
Who you are is your intellectual property.
16:58 November 15, 2011 by sohk

And in which group do you put the immigrant from the Balkan countries, because they are somehow in the middle between eastern and western. As being a immigrant from one of these countries I like to see mysleft more western like than eastern, but I wonder how others see us. Otherwise I completely agree with your opinion.
17:03 November 15, 2011 by London_Jim
It's hard to answer this question, because in my opinion, Carlos' original article had too many flaws in it.

Personally think that many of us immigrants want things both ways when we arrive in Sweden (and other countries) - we want to maintain all the facets of our original culture and yet complain bitterly when we're differentiated against because of it.

Contrary to someone's previous post, Europe has seen thousands of years of immigration and population move, yet has largely survived due to incoming migrants adapting to the culture of the host country and being absorbed largely unheeded. The problems in the main have only occurred when migrants demand the rights to have their own culture irrespective of what the host wants.
17:06 November 15, 2011 by skogsbo
it's a non story and does it really matter? who cares how Swedes view folk as long as you are happy and enjoy your life, it's too short to get worked up over stuff like this. In the last village I lived in Yorkshire, it was said that you could only be counted a local when there were 3 generations of your family buried in the graveyard and it's only a slight exaggeration, it just shows how outsiders are viewed ANYWHERE in the world.

Would any white person be considered a native of a african or arab country, after only 1 generation in their nation. Of course not, so why would it be any different anywhere else?
17:25 November 15, 2011 by omansour
Integration in a different culture is challenging and depends on many factors such as personality, education, religion, economical status, etc. Yet it is not impossible. People who are willing to understand other's cultures, social habits, routines and norms and are amenable to adapt, they would be enjoying being in a different culture. In contrast, those who are not capable to understand, perhaps due to lack of education as one potential reason among many, or are not willing to integrate themselves into a different environment, they would keep complaining and might be a risk in the society.

I am living in Sweden because I am doing some work for five years and it has already been for me 4 years (so I am a non-immigrant resident). I never, literally never, felt anything negative because of being in a different culture like the Swedish. I even feel more comfortable working with Swedish, European, and American colleagues very smoothly more than working with people of a similar culture as mine. And to be honest I enjoy what I am doing and would never think that I could do it better in my own home country. That is my experience. Talking about day-to-day life, it is also very smooth. I go with my wife to restaurant to eat and enjoy. We order what we like even though we have restrictions on the food i.e. Halal. And we enjoy eating sea food and other vegetarian food.

To sum it up its all about personality. My personal understanding of my religion makes more eager to integrate and enjoy interacting with others. My intellect allows me to adapt easily and integrate in an even multiple-culture environment. And I know many who think like me and have a similar life. Whether I would be viewed as a Swede or not, I think this is quite ironic. And the question of whether immigrants can be Swedes or not is irrelevant. Being a Swede will never change anyone's real origin, it is just a political concept that entitles its holder for certain social services in the country where he or she lives. I don't need to be a Swede to live in a Swedish culture. What I need is to understand and realize things around me and that solely depends on me!
17:42 November 15, 2011 by bells on the knight
the simple solution is:

immigrants should integrate themselves into the swedish society, culture and way of living and not the other way around.

look at the US. You have to swear the oath and if you at any time breach the said oath you stand a pretty good risk of your citizenship being revoked.
18:20 November 15, 2011 by Lavaux
What's wrong with being an immigrant? Nothing, especially for one who doesn't consider being Swedish an upgrade from his original nationality, and never will.

I suppose being able to pass as a Swede is a benefit some immigrants will never enjoy, but that's the way it goes. Can't pick your parents, which is why many ethnic Swedes get lousy ones who burden them with moral, social and economic disabilities. Am I horribly cruel to observe that everyone's got to do the best they can with their lot in life, the distribution of which is essentially unfair?
19:12 November 15, 2011 by mafketis
There are two separate questions.

On the one hand there are ethnic Swedes and on the other there are people who might not be ethnically Swedish who are linguistically and culturally Swedish. That is, they speak Swedish as a first and preferred language and have assimilated to traditional Swedish values.

Then there are two problems: Multi-kulti activists who won't let newcomers assmilate and insist on them maintaining separate cultures. I'm sure many childen born in Sweden would happily melt into the local population if diversity bullies weren't forcing them to parade their differences.

Another problem is that some aren't interested in linguistic and/or cultural assimilation. If you maintain ostentatious behavior that is at odds with long standing local ways then don't be surprised if you're not 'accepted'.

Bottom line - there's no free lunch you can't reject Swedish cultural values and expect to get all the benefits that accepting them could bring.
19:15 November 15, 2011 by cowboykodp


Two of the best comments I have heard on The Local.


Its people like you who represent the vast majority of the real face of ME countries peoples and values. Keep up the good work.
19:21 November 15, 2011 by matona1
what is so special about being pure swedish?nothing and nothing and nothing again
20:34 November 15, 2011 by 0007
well well..my daughter no matter what always be british to me......
20:55 November 15, 2011 by jonathanjames61
The question

Is being an "immigrant in Sweden" a label one must carry their entire life? answers Yes , Does that label necessarily a constitute a handicap to success in Sweden? answer no,It the best Society to achieve what ever you want to become.

The only problem is that Swedes never say whats in their mind,even to their fellow Swedes, but they can be nice if you get to know them better,I think its a society besiege by fear of I may be held accountable for what I say.
21:16 November 15, 2011 by Ankinette
Dont try to tell a Swede that Zlatan is not swedish....
21:50 November 15, 2011 by darky
But Zlatan is a Swede when he plays withe the Swedish national team or represents the country anywhere. Back home, he is called an immigrant. This has always been the prevailing situation and so shall it be until the end of time.
21:52 November 15, 2011 by Bushyblondehead
I think it like that what ever country you live if immigrant not just here. Sweden small population so more noticeable maybe.
21:53 November 15, 2011 by Just_Kidding
@mafketis: totaly agree. What whites wanted in South Africa during apartheid was two different governments for two completely separate group of people living in one country. Many people happily accept that, no matter what costs are associated with that (e.g. Omansaur) as long as they are allowed to eat their halal meat.

As Lincoln said, A house divided against itself, can not stand.

Here people are choosing a silent apartheid policy. They don't give a rat about what immigrants from Islamic countries think, as long as they don't harm them, and on the other hand, they avoid dealing with a considerable number of people in the society, just by judging them from their skin color and assuming that their are immigrant.

Atheist Iranian
22:12 November 15, 2011 by godnatt
"O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people."

Qur'an (5:51)
22:39 November 15, 2011 by omansour
@godnatt: what is your purpose?

But this is my reply:

"O people, we have created you as males and females, and distributed you in societies and ethnicities to get to know each other" Al Hojorat, 13


"O believers, be respectful to god, be just, and do not hate any people so that you turn out to be unjust to them" Al Ma'eda, 8

There are more of course. And i am not denying what you write here. It is your interpretation and you have an aim which you share with others. I respect that.
23:35 November 15, 2011 by islamist
well for one am an immigrant to this country and am proud of where i come from am here due to circumstances that forced to be here not by choice, anyway i dont see why people have the need to be idetified as swedes or american.......for one i dont even dream about being called a swede THANK GOD! and is not swedes that counts for any other countried i wud have immigrated to. for one is weird being called a swede although i have no problem with intergration, i do have a job, i speak the language and i dont have swedish friends by choice for the simple reason i find them boring, at the begining i though immigrants were the problem with intergration when i started sociolising with the swedes at school or work, i didnt find them to be at my taste. am simply happier to be called an immigrant for the rest of my life rather than a swede, no offence to any swedish people most of them are kind but too boring they need to expand their horizons on the world and try and learn abit from other cultures and stop being stuck up, maybe that will save a few suicidal lives! cheers
00:30 November 16, 2011 by swedish-aussie
Yes Swedish people are not integrating with other immigrants, i was a war refugee 1945 i whent to swedish school and spoke perfect swedish, i was not liked by my teacher because i was a foreigner,i got blamed for most things "svenska barn var inte dåliga, bara utländarnas barn." I did not have many swedish freind because there parents woul not let them play with you because of your nationality. I moved to Austarlia in 1962 and i got accepted straight off, no Immigrants slur or looking at you with a stern face and see if you blink first foreigner.....Sweds are Insecure lot...
01:26 November 16, 2011 by Frank Arbach
A prevailing wisdom re. 'immigrants' is ' If you learn to do as the native population do, then you'll be accepted as one of them'.

But lets face it: who WANTS to become like the Swedes? Rejoice in your 'otherness'
02:30 November 16, 2011 by Marc the Texan
The world isn't fair. Just be glad you are an immigrant in Sweden where you are undoubtedly treated well. Stop complaining and be thankful you live in a country that offers you so many advantages. Probably a lot more than where you or your parents came from. Immigrants in most of the rest of the world are treated much more shabbily.

The best way to change someone's views about you is to demonstrate to them that they are mistaken. That means making an example of yourself that will change those views, not whining about how others see you. Complaining about not being popular doesn't help you to become popular.
07:03 November 16, 2011 by jl1995
Yes, they should NEVER be considered Swedes. They are stealing my ethnicity and identity. They are simply guests and should be treated as such with expectations that they should return to their country of origin or ancestral country of origin.
08:18 November 16, 2011 by mafketis
Another issue. Traditionally adult immigrants don't assimilate, they adapt only as much as they need to. That's normal and natural. But, all else being equal their children, if given the chance, will assimilate to the local language and culture.

But for some dumb reason, Sweden has decided to take in a large number of immigrants who are mostly not grateful for the chance to improve their quality of life (or escape perpetual violence and squalor) but who actively look down on the people that built the local society.

And they've decided to do everything they can to prevent their children from assimilating. This means that not only are the parents a marginal at most (!) benefit to their new society, they guarantee that their children will also be an economic dead weight - dependent on handouts that they resent and resentful of the visible minority status that they themselves cultivate.
08:22 November 16, 2011 by blik
We are all masters of our own destiny.

However when all does not bode well to our sense of entitlement we look for a fall guy and in this debate it falls down to, once again, the poor old unsuspecting Swed.

Take a reality check, suck it in princesses and get on with life.
09:02 November 16, 2011 by canadianinsverige
This is a terribly disturbing subject that I can't for the life of me get used to. The blatant racism of Swedish society is unnerving and sad. As a white Canadian living in Sweden I am treated great for the most part, maybe because I can blend in, but I see the ways eyes look at "immigrants". I hear the way people differentiate.

Growing up with the majority of my friends having different skin colour was common. Although their parents came from India, Pakistan, Tanzania, China or whereever, they were born Canadian the same way I was born Canadian. Just because someone has a different skin colour doesn't mean they are any different than you. No one choses where we are born, who we are born to or how healthy or wealthy our parents are, so why do we distinguish between someone who grows up speaking the same language as us? Culture is something that should be shared and cherished not hidden and forbidden.

Considering this is an English website in Sweden, I would have to assume that all of you agree to some extent as you are either a foreigner in Sweden or a Swede who learned English in order to communicate with people with a different culture.
09:18 November 16, 2011 by Swandese
Born and raised in sweden i am a "mzungu" according to my parents and african to the swedes. I've gone through a period of calling myself swedish only to get reactions; "oh, so you are adopted?" or "No but really, where are you from?". I no longer care. I call myself Swandese instead. #Blatteforlife
11:24 November 16, 2011 by Grokh
immigrant in ANY country has a lifelong label period.
12:30 November 16, 2011 by rise
@ islamist

"well for one am an immigrant to this country and am proud of where i come from am here due to circumstances that forced to be here not by choice,"

But still you DID choose to come here - people should take responsibility for the choices they're making!

"no offence to any swedish people most of them are kind but too boring they need to expand their horizons on the world and try and learn abit from other cultures and stop being stuck up,"

Then what are you doing in Sweden, full of boring Swedes?!? There are among 193 other countries (members of the UN) in which you can live instead! You should really move out from Sweden! I'm almost afraid for your well being and you should get out of this country before comitting suicide because of all the boring Swedes.
13:23 November 16, 2011 by Liefje
there is nothing wrong in being viewed as an immigrant, as long as your differences are contributing to the society!

in the Netherlands there are terms as Autochtoon( native born) and Allochtoon ( foreign born) and they do apply for 3 generations! it is about time needed to forget the language, the roots and the culture, in order to assimilate in the new society.

I think thee shoudl be a difference made beween native Swedes and assimilated Swedes. And nothing to be touchy about.

To the openents, I am an immigrant here too
14:11 November 16, 2011 by roaringchicken92
If the "immigrant" label is seen as pejorative, or seen in any other way as setting a person apart from the rest of Swedish society, why is it's use perpetuated, particularly by the very people that wish the "stigma" of being an "immigrant" were erased? Stop labeling people, stop compartmentalising people, stop putting them into convenient little baskets as Topics For Discussion!

Look at the picture included with this story. It was included by a well-meaning editor at TL as an example of people we could instantly label as Immigrants, not Swedish or Swedish-born. We're taught to label people this way, then we're taught that's it's bad to label people!
14:19 November 16, 2011 by Zeffanyx
Well, ok, let's not label. But look at rioting crowd. Seems obvious that these people are united by something. Don't we have the right to use a label for this?

I personally met some swedish citizens of immigrant background. They can be nice people, very friendly, but how would they respond if some "immigrant" organsation will call for them to break everything Swedish? You know, the cultural or ethnic aspect is always stronger than civil, especially for newcomers to Sweden.
15:42 November 16, 2011 by godnatt
Hmm. Wonder why there's an integration problem?

"So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah . But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper."

Qur'an (4:89)
16:54 November 16, 2011 by ShadowKiller
Being of European and non-European descent, born and brought up in one European country and having lived and worked in 4 European countries, I think I am old enough not to be naive to think that overwhelmingly, I am a "foreigner", just because of the way I look. My level of education, socio-economic level, personal sense of being of European culture and EVEN being of ½ European blood, etc. are all irrelevant. I am a foreigner. Forever. Unless I can change my skin colour and name. And the latter says it all.

Unfortunately, being culturally a "Euro-metropolitan", has no correlation that I am, and will be, viewed as an 'outsider'. Full stop. Integration, multi-culturalism, etc. will always be a problem that the "immigrant" will have to deal with and "integration" requires swallowing the bitter pill of being, in most cases, treated as a 2nd rate citizen and keeping one's mouth shut. It is this to my knowledge that has completely closed the door to communication between "real" Europeans and their locally born and bred "immigrant" counterparts. I at least know this to be true in the Netherlands and France.

The harsh true of being a 2nd rate citizen, is that you will have to be better in all respects with regard to your indigenous "local" peers. So don't forget you immigrants, even if you are born and brought up in Europe: "if you are not happy, go back home".

Why is everyone on TheLocal want to pick on Sweden? It's like this in most other Western European countries, exempt the UK.
18:48 November 16, 2011 by KFF
This is a silly article.

The swedish people is a germanic people and we are an ethnic group the same way as all other ethnic groups in the world. This is how we identify ourselves and what we mean with being a swede.

Other peoples can become swedish citizens but that doesn't mean that they become ethnic swedes. It is just the way things are in this world. I don't become a japanese just because I like visiting Japan.

Sweden is a very old nation state based on even older scandinavian peoples with a historically irrelevant immigration from abroad (mostly finns and germans). This means that the swedish identity and ethnic definition outside of the critical theory-departments, official utopian ideology and DN leaders is pretty clear and instinctive for the native population.

The way most swedes view a kurd or iranian with a swedish citizenship is as a kurd or iranian with a swedish citizenship.

What is needed is some clarifications in the language. Historically ethnic swede and swedish citizen was synonyms. It isn't anymore but swede is still used in the dual meaning of belonging to the swedish nordic people and being a citizen of Sweden.
19:04 November 16, 2011 by Urmulu
They are happy in school years, but things change when looking for job and getting in business!!
20:02 November 16, 2011 by Token-not-found

Exactly , nationality is just a piece of paper in Sweden, as it should be.

European nation states were not built on multicultural premises like the USA or CANADA or other such multicultural nations.

Sweden , like all EU nation states has strong ethic and cultural roots that run all the way in the past as far as what it means to be a "swede".

Things that these fascist hippies can't deconstruct easily.

I would be extremely grateful to live in Sweden and i don't even come from a war-ridden or extremely poor country.

And i see these people complaining about petty stuff like "the sweds are cold" , "i can't make any friends" or "i'm not considered a real swede"

That's impertinence from someone coming from an extremely unstable country ,like most non-EU immigrants come from.

Sweden - love it or leave it.
20:29 November 16, 2011 by nathan45
This wouldnt even be an issue if the goverment of western countrys didnt flood their nations with millions of immigrants.

The fact is people are afraid of our people becoming extinct. I live in Canada the other week our government announced that in just 10 years one third of the intire country will be a "Visible minority" Personaly I dont think that it is right for the government and this "1%" of the earth to push immigration down our throats just to make better business.

Money and welth and how much junk you can sell to another country is NOT the end all and is all of existence. WE ARE DESTROYING THE PLANET POPULATION GROWTH SHOULD NOT BE TREATED AS A GOOD THING! WE JUST HIT 7 BILLION! To punish countrys with a stable or very slightly declining population with mass immigration from countrys who populate out of control with no regard for the earth is an insult to the earth and the Human race.
21:15 November 16, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
Recognition is a two way street.

I have a cousin born in Africa while his parents were employed there for a short time.

As an infant he went back to Sweden.

Should he return to the land of his birth he will never be recognized as African.

Why should it be different for others in Sweden?
22:19 November 16, 2011 by bcterry
22:39 November 15, 2011 by omansour

"O believers, be respectful to god, be just, and do not hate any people so that you turn out to be unjust to them" Al Ma'eda, 8

There are more of course. And i am not denying what you write here. It is your interpretation and you have an aim which you share with others. I respect that."

It's not an interpretation, that's exactly what it says.
22:54 November 16, 2011 by Jannik
This wouldnt be an issue if Sweden and other western nations didnt promote massimmigration and multiculturalism. europeans are slowly becoming afraid of the fact, that they just might end up becoming minoritys in their ancestral homelands. So now swedes insist on classifying people with non-nordic biological features as "immigrants". And non-ethnic swedes havent ever really believed the nonsense, that they are swedes in the same way ethnic swedes are.

And this is no surprise.

Tibetans are not about to classify chinese invaders as "tibetans" for the sake of cohesion.

The main reason is that this would fly in the face of commonsense definitions of what constitutes and ethny. And this is primarily blood and soil.

No matter what the manipulating socialconstructivists keep on telling you.
00:27 November 17, 2011 by hughknows

"Every single country in the world will look like the US and Canada in 2 or 3 decades. And there AINT nuttin anyone can do about that."'

Are you deluded sir? I guess you base this on economic and informational globalisation, and in particular the fact that Europe has in recent years moved towards a US model of multiculturalism with increasing non-white demographics - a lot of Black migrants and Middle-easterners instead of Hispanics.

The world-wide conclusion you draw is nonetheless ridiculous hyperbole.

Let's just take the world's two most populous nations as an indication of the reality: First China. Han Chinese are 20 percent of the world's population and constitute 92 percent of China's population. There's no reason to think that country is going to look anything like the US demographics-wise in the future. You think that China, in its relative ethnic homogeneity, is going to welcome permanent migrants of diverse cultural perspectives any time soon with its state-sponsored xenophobia and problems with its current minority groups? They're instead exporting Chinese people to Africa right now to temporarily work exploitative economic projects that employ their own people instead of hiring local African workers.

Then we look at India in number two position. It has been called the most multicultural nation on Earth, yet nothing like the US model - it is in its own way ethnically homogenous in that they are all 'Indian' people who have been established in many cases since time immemorial and simply have localised cultures and languages. There are Tibetan regugees there graciously taken in after Chinese occupation. Yet sudden and massive demographics changes caused by far-flung foreign arrivals in huge numbers? No current reason to predict this for India.

What about Korea where only 2 percent of people are non-Korean and the many foreign workers are allowed in for short periods only - being generally denied residency/citizenship? Japan, which has an entrenched culture and demographic reality that shuns cultural diversity?

The only thing that looks likely with current trends is that the West, with its originally European character, both in ethnicity and culture - including the US and Canada - will continue to become marginalised and weakened whilst other peoples and powers rise.

One thing for sure: no-one but the West has signed on for its cosy Western multicultural experiment. Look at Malaysia - it has 'many cultures', but legislation from 1971 dictates that Islam must be present in Malaysian culture. Europe since well before this has been doing the opposite in terms of eradicating vestiges of the local religion in the general culture.

I do agree in some sense with what you're saying though - I think in 2 - 3 decades there will be many more peoples around the world in the same boat as the Native American victims of the United States and Canada.
01:28 November 17, 2011 by godnatt
@ hughknows

Great, very cogent points.

Unfortunately, for some people, the "whole world" is a dorm room full of brainwashed multiculturalist cliches.

@cowboykodp isn't interested in pesky facts can't be summed in a meaningless feel good bumper sticker on the back of a VW bus parked outside a drum circle.
06:30 November 17, 2011 by theibmsstate
there is nothing special in swede and sweden. if they people has blonde eyes and blue eyes with low and poor mentality so what.

USA is multicultural country thats why they are successful-american mentality is not low. swede must not forget before 1980 people were poor even didnt have money for food. dont think with VOLVO and ERICSSON is everything. sweden does not has natural resources. just strawberries.
09:00 November 17, 2011 by rise
@ theibmsstate

I assume your knowledge of Sweden goes as far as to the brands Volvo and Ericsson - how very knowledgeable of you. And natural resources? Why Sweden is only the biggest supplier of iron ore in the EU. Not to mention what kind of riches Sweden's big forests are giving. And all the rivers that gives clean electricity. And so on. So, no, no natural recourses exists here... :P
09:21 November 17, 2011 by KFF
@ theibmsstate Ethnic groups are important for the members of the ethnic group. I can assure you that swedes and Sweden is important for swedes. As it should be. It is called racist and intolerance to care and have a historical understanding of ones society and people but that doesn't mean that people stop caring. USA was primarily based on european immigration and jumped on to the multicultural bandwagon 1965 when they changed their immigration rules. That is when the drastic transformation of USA started into "multiculturalism". Sweden changed its rules 1975 due to long campaigns from ethnic pressure groups that arrived after the second world war. It wasn't like the swedish population had any say in the matter. I can assure you that neither the US or Sweden was poor before the reforms and actually Sweden is much poorer today in many ways than in 1975 (education-wise, wealthwise adjusted for debt, socially). Sweden has a lot of natural resources. Probably the most per capita in the whole of europe after Norway and Russia.

But that is of course not the gist of your posting. You are one from the army at The Local that just want to complain about everything swedish. You don't have to be here if you don't want to. It would be nice if you ever looked on the ethnic transformation from the swedish point of view. Sweden has by far the most relaxed migration rules in europe and probably the western world. This is due to internal insanity in swedish politics and the consequences for swedes are not an issue in the political decisions. We will be a minority in our own country within a couple of decades. We are assaulted with insane increases in rapes, ethnic gangs, exploitation, fraud etc due to the third world immigration and the workings of the migration-industrial complex. We run our immigration policy on utopian ideals and have never cared about things like if people are needed or if we have jobs for them. An example, Sweden had 4,5 miljon jobs in 1990. Today we have the same amount but have brought in roughly one million immigrants from africa and arabia due to ideological reasons. The combination of no job increases and enormous increases of noneuropeans results in retarded levels of unemployment and Norway has worked as a buffer for swedish youth (typically above 100000 young swedes work there due to lack of opportunities in Sweden, in comparision about 100000 swedes are born/year) the last twenty years. The whole project is payed for by taxing the swedish working class until it bleeds and the cost is roughly 8-10% of gdp in wealth transfer per year (no official numbers exist because our government doesn't want to know) from the swedes to the imported third worlders to keep the project floating. And the typical attitude from The Local-commenters is that the swedes are "racist" and need to be "more open for change". Why would we be open for change if the change is so obviously bad for us?
10:35 November 17, 2011 by sverigeinternetmedia
The fancy downtown restaurant that you love to dine at is probably owned by a 'non swede' , the company that you work for probably has the highest amount of shares by a 'foreign' group, the clothes that you wear is probably brought in from some other nation. Globalization, Immigration, outsourcing are the order of the day. Its your choice just accept it or shun the entire world.
11:43 November 17, 2011 by blackmuslimstudent
Thank God I am student here and as soon as I finish I will return home, I am NOT saying that Sweden is bad but it is always nice to return home! To all those who complain from swedes do more effort to integrate to the society and look to the bright side: remember that swedes are people with good morality, good manners and they taught since their childhood to be well behaved. if , God forbid, they were not nice people the situation will be for you even worst, so show some gratitude! Actually for me most of the times I find disrespect, rudeness and sometimes hate from the immigrants themselves than from swedes: they complain from swedes and they and even worst for each other and for other foreigners like me. BUT I do NOT complain.
13:09 November 17, 2011 by lilsocks
15:21 November 15, 2011 by Skuzi

I think this applies to other nationalities as well. I feel literally 1000 miles away from my English home. This is probably because I don't know any Swedish people other than my Fiancée and her family, and that is purely down to the homogeneous nature of Sweden, It is difficult to make friends here. I personally feel that as soon as someone knows you can only speak English, without knowing you, they assume Eastern Europe, which is stigma I don't personally want. If I keep my mouth shut, I simply melt away. This cannot be done by everyone and I feel really bad seeing news like this all of the time. Sweden can be cold and not just the weather.

Try learning Swedish then!!!!! I did and it helps quite a bit, the first few steps should always be to integrate with the country and culture you have moved to, no ifs, no buts.....
14:19 November 17, 2011 by hughknows

Your examples of globalisation are accurate, but they do not support your conclusion. Some migration took place and foreign cuisine was available in Western countries throughout the 20th Century before the controversial 'mass migration' of the most recent decades. Trade, investment, communication and tourism between cultures of course must be accepted for a modern nation to succeed, as well as some amount of migration.

Yet as I pointed out in an earlier post - there are many countries that are embracing globalisation without accepting a mass influx of foreigners as permanent migrants. The two issues are not the same thing. For centuries nations have traded and mingled without necessarily displacing the local population. When a local population has been displaced by foreigners it is historically known as an 'invasion' or 'colonisation'. Governments may have orchestrated/allowed the current situation in certain parts of Europe but with a lack of integration, a clash of cultural values, and the numbers high enough, of course locals will eventually start to feel like there is something wrong with the policies.

There is a spectrum here. Someone who demands almost no migration is probably a racist, whereas someone who demands unbridled migration probably places little value on the local culture of the nation. One thing's for sure though, there's no reason a nation can't participate in today's globalised world without radically altering it's demographics and marginalising its own culture amongst newly arrived ones.

Life is globalised in Sweden whether people migrate or not - From here I can speak to friends over the internet and telephone, visit faraway places using a variety of transport, apply for jobs, even work for an overseas company from my current location - as in outsourcing - or study by distance education for a degree at a foreign university, as well as shop for exotic goods to delivered to my house - all from home. I don't have to physically go and migrate to all these places.

I am not Swedish but currently live in Sweden. I don't ever expect to be called a Swede in any sense whether I were to apply for citizenship or not. Sometimes though, I meet people who have been here only 5 years or so and they don't want to say where they're from originally - it's like a taboo - everyone must be just 'Swedish' suddenly if they've moved here.

Great to have an article like this to discuss such an issue openly. Well done The Local.
14:35 November 17, 2011 by theibmsstate
when swede were small kids than their parents taught who is immigrant and who is not immigrant. hahahahahah you make me laugh, when sweden forest and iron will fininsh.think realistic. every body knows swede wont no immigrant american,canadian and so on.ok sweden migration board must stop immigrant BUT sweden must not buy OIL and Food and other resources from other countries. 99% food comes from other countries, you cannt fill your stomach with IRON and WOOD.i have spend 5 years in sweden, such a low mentality. ok swede are important for swede than STOP taking natural resources from other countries and just eat swedish potatoes and starawberries.
15:32 November 17, 2011 by rise
@ theibmsstate

You need to go back to school and learn how to write since otherwise people might see YOU as the one with, as you put it, "low mentality". Just a friendly advise. ;)
15:35 November 17, 2011 by abaeterno
I am an immigrant in sweden and I enjoy being an immigrant. I will not ever be swedish and I dont feel anything good or bad about this.

I have two kids. One born in England who moved here at 11months. The other was born here in stockholm

I think that both of my kids are swedish. Their 1st language is swedish 50% of their genetic makeup is swedish, they live here, so f**k anyone who says they are not sweds.

If we move back to the UK then they will be swinglish kids...

Note: stop moaning and get on with ur life. If U dont like it in sweden then go somewhere else more 'tolerent' - like Iran, Somalia or China,.(no offense meant to the Iranians, somalians or Chinese)

theibmsstate is an idiot. go live in a nice friendly country then, (if U can find one)
17:04 November 17, 2011 by theworldcitizen
We have ability to sense and think, being humans. Some of us are aware of it and the rest are not.

If one eats a chicken and get food poisoning, the one with the "awareness" will eat the chicken again. The one without will hate chicken the rest of the life.

Very simple.
19:56 November 17, 2011 by bow290
mate i have a swedish partner and have been here over yr now... i will always b australian and my son is a swaussie! simple!
21:14 November 17, 2011 by rumcajs
I hear a lot of people talking abut cultures that do not integrate... and it might happen, but just for curiousity: Is there any American with Mexican parents living in SE and reading this news now? How is it?
23:50 November 17, 2011 by suprkynu
i realy wonder why is there a serious issue about immigrants in sweden. is sweden different from other countries who live immigrants like USA,UK,CANADA and AUSTRELIA etc.....
01:45 November 18, 2011 by injusticeworld
Well, as long as we still read and hear the media talks and writes about this, thus and apparently, SWEDISH IS SWEDISH AND IMMIGRANT IS IMMIGRANT!!

I don't know why does LOCAL publish kinda subjects from while to while?? I feel that it wants more subscribers "Have your say below.Registered users may add answers using the comment field below. If you haven't yet registered, you may do so here - it's free and only takes a moment."

I believe that good people is good people and bad people is bad people regardless of the background, believe me it is only the life and ask any old man or woman how fast was it, so live it as you wish and don't confuse yourself!!

Love to all,

life visitor
06:25 November 18, 2011 by theibmsstate
I think english countries are much better, if you live in UK ,Canada, USA ,NZ, AUSSIE, they are really frank and nice, mental level is quiet high.i lived in sweden,now i dont want to visit sweden again. in sweden immigrant cannt get even cleaning job language lol. when some1 is doing cleaning job than he or she must be fluent swedish, everybody must think on it why swedish language is needed for cleaning job.in sweden they dont want immigrant become rich why they should have good car and good house.thats why immigrants cannt get job in sweden even though if you learn swedish language. in USA even you deliver pizza you can earn 7000dollars per month plus you have good house and outstanding car.but in sweden if ur educated or not you will be suffered. so english countries are much better.swede must understand that their system is wrong in job point of view and their behavior and many other stuff. one American had construction project in sweden and he dont wanted to hire swede.
08:27 November 18, 2011 by KFF
@ the ibmsstate

Short summary of swedish economic history. Until the seventies - superrich. In the seventies - a lot of economic stupidity. Eighties - even more economic stupidity, this time in banking deregulation. Ninieties - the deepest depression Sweden had ever experienced due to all idiocy (actually more sever than the great depression).

From about -95 to now. Getting the monetary balances in check (i.e no trade deficits, no government deficits, general decreases in expenses everywhere- why swedish infrastructure is underinvested in for example)

The drawback of running a policy that conciosly keeps down internal consumption (i.e less imports to generate trade surpluses) and run government surpluses to pay down debt is that the job generation decreases enormously. In fact, we have just about the same amount of jobs today as in 1990.

A close to zero job creation economy and the swedish kind of immigration policy creates very strange circumstances. For example in the period 1991-1994 Sweden lost 600 000 jobs from the total job number of 4,5 millions. At the same time period we brought in roughly 80 000 people from the third world per year. Fast forward the next fifteen years where we slowly built up the same amount of jobs we had but the influx from abroud has each and every year actually been higher than the job creation in the swedish economy. The reason why many swedes emigrate to Norway and Denmark.

This left a job deficit for just those years of the jobs lost plus the number of working age people arriving. Typically meant a very rough time for everyone.

Both the US and UK are in about the same situation today that Sweden experienced in the nineties. That is why they run so large deficits but that wont help in the long run. It took twenty years for Sweden to put things in order and it will probably take the same for US and UK if they go for paying down debt. It has nothing to do with racism since people get jobs when there is jobs to be had and otherwise will be unemployed.

I would say it's the other way around. Sweden has a very low level of racism and a deep belief in humanitarian bullshit to be able to endure all the political insanity that is Stockholm.
10:34 November 18, 2011 by sniper11
if they want to be accepted, might try dress like the Sedes, and act like the. Swedes. The way it is now you spot them a mile away. The ones that do will eventually be accepted
12:28 November 18, 2011 by neda
If you know a bit psychology and know about DSM and American psychiatric association , It is a well known fact that life for an immigrant is more stressful and immigrants are those with high risk to develop mental illness due to stressful condition that they face , this is not about swede or immigrant , this is about differences between human beings , I don't know about this study !
13:04 November 18, 2011 by theibmsstate

Swede must behave like a normal human, nobody must follow swede behavior, do not forget before 1980 that was poor nation.

come to the earth, 85000 swede were jobless 3 years ago,
16:31 November 18, 2011 by dougwinstone
Whats wrong with NOT being Swedish but living in Sweden?

I'm a Brit and I'm proud of my nationality, I mimic what the Swedes do, I eat herring, I do the winter swimming thing and I don't buy others beer (any more).

The better we immigrants integrate into society the more likely we will be accepted but if you force your ways onto others don't cry when the natives (no not the Sammis) shun you.

This feels like yet another thelocal.se article set on stirring hate, who's side are you on???
18:11 November 18, 2011 by Dagem Hailemariam
"Is being an "immigrant in Sweden" a label one must carry their entire life?"

Lets start off by looking at the actual meaning of the word.

IMMIGRANT - (im·mi·grant/ˈimigrənt/) Noun: 1) A person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country. 2) A person who leaves one country to settle permanently in another.

The title of the article "Despite being born in Sweden or having lived most of their lives in Sweden..." has two parts. If one is born in Sweden, grows up in Sweden and still to this day resides in Sweden, they do not fit the definition of an Immigrant, so they should not have that label put on them. If they were not born in Sweden and relocated with their parents, they are immigrants and will always be immigrants!!

"Does that label necessarily constitute a handicap to success in Sweden?"

Yes unfortunately, as Zeffanyx has shown with his/her way off-the-top comment...there are ignorant people out there who insist on stereotyping and catagorizing people instead of taking the "hey let me get to know you and see what you are about" approach.

18:53 November 18, 2011 by marcelj
As the saying goes, Birds of a feather flock togather. And it will never be anything other than this. No matter how hard the PC crowds work to force intergration....it will never happen...not ever. Anyone claiming to be a swede that does not look like a swede....is not a swede.....so get used to it. And in fact you should probably return to your own country.
19:04 November 18, 2011 by ctinej
Educating them out of the ridiculous superstition that they bring with then (religion) is the only way to end most of the problem.

How in the world do they expect to blend in when they insist on keeping their shop towels on their heads, wearing a tent over their bodies, and moaning while in the stink bug position 6 times a day?

But, it is their religious duty to kill anyone who tries to lead them away from that religion.

I think that there is NO solution to an escalating problem other than deportation.
22:48 November 18, 2011 by Mya_Ist
Well this article is the biggest load of garbage I have ever read, and to be frank, some of the comments are just downright ridiculous, especially considering I am emigrating from Australia to Sweden in 4 days with my husband (who just so happens to be Swedish).

Is this what I have to look forward to? Bickering about who is considered an immigrant and who is not? I'm just going to start smashing a few paradigms here... And I'm sorry if this comes at a surprise to some of you purists..... but YOU WERE ALL IMMIGRANTS AT SOME POINT, so get off your bloody high horse and open your eyes. I mean really, do you guys just draw an arbitrary line in the sand and use that as your source of truth?
00:44 November 19, 2011 by muzammilh
i posted this question and comment on another article, but do so again here to request feedback:

i am more fixated on the comments that have followed this op-ed. so i have a few questions and request some perspective, especially from the people making negative statements about immigrants

but before i ask, i should say a little about myself. i am a US-citizen, and have lived there almost 20 years. before this, i was born and raised in pakistan for almost 10 years. i am a brown, practicing, muslim. life as a brown, practicing, muslim, in the US has been overwhelmingly...normal. even after 9/11 i feel no systematic pressure to abandon my values by other americans (half my friends in the US are like me, the other half are mostly white-secular-americans...i get along fine with both types), and i feel no institutional discrimination in terms of jobs, access to education, etc. this does not mean every brown, practicing, muslim, has had it this easy. but in my experience, and many others i know, US-american society seems to be doing just fine with its 12.5% population of immigrants: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/483/muslim-americans

i understand that sweden also has a similar proportion of "native" swedes and "immigrant" swedes (about 12 percent). but the comments above, and other articles i find here seem to suggest an altogether opposite reality for 'native' swedes' reactions to 'immigrant' swedes, especially brown, practicing, muslims

my question:

if i immigrate to sweden as a brown-practicing-muslim, will my experience be similar to my experience immigrating to the US, or radically different? i am not asking for defensive and reactionary comments; i would really like to know from the naysayers what it is about brown-practicing-muslims that swedes find so problematic. after all, it is the same brown-practicing-muslims that have immigrated to the US, that have also immigrated to sweden, but in the US we seem to be doing just fine in comparison to our swedish counterparts. i am suggesting here that if the immigrants are essentially the same, but their experiences are radically different, it has more to do with swedish vs. american society and their native cultures' ability to accept difference and diversity

you may answer in anyway you wish, but i would appreciate reason and civility over emotional rants and ambiguous stereotyping

thank you
02:23 November 19, 2011 by Nysvensk
Hi Muzammilh

I arrived as a white American woman married to a Swede 30 years ago. When I first got here, I couldn't speak Swedish and was put in classes with other foreigners. I felt foreign and identified with them. Swedes used to say to me that I wasn't like the other foreigners because I was American. However, I saw how foreigners here were treated and it wasn't nice. My distinct impression, though, is that things are changing for the better, but that you will always be at a disadvantage here as an immigrant.

An American acquaintance who was married to a Swede and spoke Swedish actually had to take a school district to court and won because he had applied for a job as a shop teacher at the local middle school, a job for which he had a degree in the US. The school had decided that the Swedish janitor, with no education above the high school level in Sweden, would get the job. I have been told to my face by the vice president of a major government-owned power company that they don't hire foreigners because they don't fit in after I asked him why all the names on the doors were Swedish. A friend of mine from the Philippines went to nursing school here. She had passed her courses in nursing in Sweden in the Swedish language with flying colors but was told in her internship that she couldn't speak Swedish. She filed an anti-discrimination lawsuit but it was hard to prove because all of the Swedes were afraid to say anything. They didn't want to jeopardize their jobs. Eventually she was allowed to do the internship in a nearby city at a major hospital where they were very impressed by her.

Would your experience in Sweden be the same as in the US? No. Expect to have to be ten times better at anything you do to get a job that a Swede could do. A Vietnamese I knew was educated in the US at Princeton and was working here at low wages. Finally, a professor of his helped him get on at a major corporation in the US. He moved from a small apartment in a Swedish immigrant ghetto to a two-story mansion on the east coast of the US in just a couple of years. Thinking of coming to Sweden to live? Forget it. I can handle it here because I am fluent in Swedish but I work online, not with Swedes. My kids grew up here and look Swedish with Swedish names so they have no issues. However, my eldest remembers how people would talk down to me. Imagine then being the child of an immigrant family and seeing how condescending and racist some Swedes can be. Then Swedes wonder why some immigrant youths have chips on their shoulders.

So, stay where you are. It is not worth the hassle here. I am leaving in a few years myself.
08:52 November 19, 2011 by Icarusty
Race plays the ONLY part. As the first comment suggests (which is how the majority thinks), a Swede of Iraqi or Somalian origin (which is what he means) will never be SEEN as Swedish, despite being born and bred. Even if they do everything the "Swedish way", they are not seen as Swedish, because people judge things by appearance.

By contrast, a French or English will be accepted as Swedish, indeed many white immigrants already do, regardless of their ability to learn the language, integrate or adopt Swedish customs.

If you want clear proof of this, look at America. FIFTH generation Chinese born and bred, patriotic Americans serving their country and coming home as heroes - are still seen as foreign, outsiders, aliens... whereas recent white immigrants from Eastern Europe and Russia can easily pass as "American" - meaning a white. Shallow yet the truth.
11:24 November 19, 2011 by rise
@ Icarusty

"Race plays the ONLY part."

I think you're quite right about that. Race is everything, the first and foremost. Secondly, and almost as important, is the clothing. For example the burqa - how are those muslims thinking Swedes are supposed to look at them, hiding in bank robber's clothes as they are!?

Hypocrites can pretend to be "knowing" and "tolerant" towards those aliens, calling other people racists. But they're only sanctimoniously and nothing else!
13:20 November 19, 2011 by Just_Kidding
Hi Muzammilh (#90)

I believe you and other Immigrants in US should appreciate attitude of Americans towards immigrants.

By the way, there is a little difference. In US, Immigration is open for professionals (who often come to US as a student get a job after graduation). Therefore, immigrants often belong to a higher social class, have access to more power and connections and therefore receive a better treatment in the society. Immigrants in Sweden are often from war torn countries, who come to Sweden with very little education and money, and have to first learn Swedish and go to university (if they are young enough) and maybe become a doctor or someone, but since 95% of people who look like him are unemployed refugees who feed of the Swedish society and off course don't have any power, the 100% of foreign looking people are miss-treated and deprived of chances of integration.

Atheist Iranian
13:32 November 19, 2011 by skatty
In Sweden,"Immigration" is a label with "unlimited" expiry date!
18:04 November 19, 2011 by cogito
@Muzammih #90

What Nysvensk #91 said. Read and heed.
19:17 November 19, 2011 by Britt-Marie7
I don't understand what the big problem is. I have lived in the US since 1962, I am also a US citizen as well as a Swedish citizen, as I was born there. I don't consider myself as an American, I am still a Swede and will always be, and so are my friends that were born in Sweden. Nobody here has a problem with that, they know I am not an American born here as I have an accent. I don't have a problem with being an immigrant either.
00:58 November 20, 2011 by mewatchingyou
So this means that Sweden's number 1 super hero Zlatan Ibrahimovic is an Immigrant also then? I would LOVE the day when these hypocrites start addressing him as an immigrant Swede like they label everyone else. These are some of the MANY issues people have with Swedes and their silly and irresponsible logic...I can remember about a year ago visiting Spain on a business trip and there was this little ''town'' where all the ''apparently ill'' Swedes gather to ''soak'' up the sun that does not exist in Sweden for 9 months of the year and bumped into a few of them who have been living there for over 2 years and one of my questions were ''So isnt it interesting to be immigrants living in Spain?...To my shocking amazement, they all looked confused and one of them said ''WHAT? We arent Immigrants, Immigrants come from Africa! We are Swedish!'' Can you imagine that stupid and flawed response?

Whats disappointing is that Swedes think of themselves as highly educated and intelligent folk....I have no problem with them feeling that way but just remember something ''Whats good for the goose, is good for the gander''...So if you hypocrites see people of non-swedish backgrounds as immigrants living in Sweden, then over-rated and over-hyped people like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Martin Dahlin and Henke Larsson should be labelled the same. Stop the stupid labelling FULLSTOP! Its just another silly way to not integrate with your fellow human! Black, white, chinese, indian or whatever, wherever you are born, you have the natural rights to claim your nationality. Wish 1 day all you closet and open paranoids accept humanity before race, colour, nationality, citizenship or whatever other tool that is made to divide us all. Regards!
10:17 November 20, 2011 by rise
@ mewatchingyou

"Wish 1 day all you closet and open paranoids accept humanity before race, colour, nationality, citizenship or whatever other tool that is made to divide us all."

It's culture dividing us. "Multiculture" doesn't work - not if it's peace and quiet one is seeking. But not to embrace the word "multiculture" and pretend to love it isn't politically correct in Sweden, the land of the sanctimoniously.
13:21 November 20, 2011 by BritVik
I came to Sweden in 1960 - a Brit. I shall eventually die here in Sweden - still a Brit. But I speak Swedish (shame otherwise) - yet still like a Brit. The only time I have been called 'j*vla utlänning' was by a naturalised immigrant from Jugoslavia as was.

At a gathering of pensioners where for a little while I was acting as Master of Ceremonies I was asked if I was an American. Now that, to me, is not on. So I replied that 'No, I was from an island outside of Tjörn.' That raised quite a laugh, and showed that, as a Brit, I am not looked upon as a foreigner. It is strange, but true. We are foreigners, but not looked upon as such. Possibly due to the proximity of the UK.

But to be accepted here, as anywhere if the truth be known, you must speak the lingo. I have never learnt the language as such, but picked it up along the way. I have lived most of my life here, ran a typical British institution for 18 years - a B & B near Tanumshede, and have now retired to Torreby, where my wife - a Swede - can play golf. I am still looked upon as a Brit. but not as a foreigner, a fact that is very hard to explain. Whilst not agreeing to all things Swedish, I have done my best to assimilate. But being white-skinned does make a difference. This is a simple fact, unfortunately. It applies in the UK also. A fact that makes it difficult at times to be accepted, and must make life hell for those affected by it. It is almost like a stigma, and should not be so. During my military service in Malaya in the 50's one of my best mates in the platoon was 'Darky' Johnson. That was his nickname, and he spoke with a true Cockney accent as did I. We never knew how he reacted to his nickname, but he was well and truly 'one of us', and I don't believe anyone cared a tinker's cuss about his skin colour. In the platoon we were as one. Prejudice can be not only overcome, it can be totally ignored - if we are prepared to accept one another simply as human beings.

Unfortunately Utopia does not exist, which tends to give rise to - - prejudice.
13:40 November 20, 2011 by mewatchingyou
''Rise'' what's funny is that Im originally from one of the most multicultural countries in the world with 1,3 million people of African, Asian, European, Latin dissent and even native Caribs. We ALL get along without the silly labeling. We share very different cultures where Africans celebrate the Indian holidays or viceversa, wearing the traditional clothing on those days, cooking the same and just enjoying life as humans. Tourist think its funny to see Muslims celebrate Christmas with Christmas trees and gifts for the kids and the same goes for each religion or culture. This is the real multicultural umbrella. Its amazing to see and experience as I have been told on numerous occassions. We are raised to be open and equal to ALL creed and race to find that equal place. Sadly what I see and witness in these European countries are the total opposite where they use these tools to create the false feeling of multiculturalism to divide and conquer. Its everywhere we turn nowadays. What about countries like South Africa, Australia and many others where europeans have settled? Arent they immigrants also?. Same goes with a caucasian Brazillian. They dont label themselves as a German Brazillian and all that nonsense! So what if your mother is born in Finland and your father is born in Sweden? Your birthpaper will ALWAYS state that you are SWEDISH and thats what matters most! So all these petty labelling to preserve whatever these guys are defending is purely stupid! It seems that the silly paranoia with the people of european influence that their ''culture'' is being stolen or not preserved wont end. It will always be there. You should be more open to all cultures instead of unnecessarily fighting to preserve yours which you didnt need to in the first place. Open up to other cultures more (this does not mean visiting a chinese food or indian food restaurant) and maybe there can be a resemblance of harmony called mutual respect and I am positive that immigrants would do the same. Dont make people feel like you are ''doing them a favor''. People of Thailand and other places with sunshine that you love to settle in do you a HUGE favor also. But when you use these labels to seperate yourself from others as if you are better or more pure, lies the problems. We all have the same colour blood, the same bone structures and we all sweat and poo the same. Whats more pure than that? These labels are used to strategically keep people down or up and psychologically its not good for anyone. Swedes on here will try their best to defend these actions with their warped logic but it matters not to many people like myself what is said to defend these actions. The truth is there for all who want to see. For hundreds of years its been this way, who says it will stop today? So guys, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Daniel Majstorovic, Martin Dahlin, Henke Larsson and even the Swedish queen should be proudly labelled as immigrants as you guys love to call others! Regards!
16:51 November 20, 2011 by beeforsty
So many post seems to indicate to me that many of the contributors are blind in one eye and can't see out of the other. Sweden is good, but not yet "GREAT". the way the society has been structured and the Swedes coldness attitude makes it hard for Immigrants to integrate. The main problem in Sweden is how we define our self as a nation, citizenship. Until we stop defining our citizenship as being a Swedish is not about belonging to a certain set of group, race, ethnicity, or religion rather is about believing in certain set of ideals; the rights of individuals and the rules of laws Immigrant in Sweden will remain a lifelong label.

What distinguished America to be great nation among all nations is they don't define their citizenship base on race or religion, rather they did it base on rules of laws and rights of individuals which makes Obama to be occupying Oval office and makes Steves Jobs Apple to be the most revered CEO and products which the Swedes worship. There is no doubt that our increasing diversity is generating new tension in Sweden as crimes from people will immigration background is increasing . but still our diversity can give us an enormous strength if we believe that is possible for us to be united by our ideals instead of divided by our differences.
00:19 November 21, 2011 by Schwoebel
If not doing the following labels me as an immigrant...

1. think that signing my first name on a paper is work hard enough to deserve a 45 minute break for dried up sugar sprinkled rolls and coffee.

2. feeling the need to hate myself

3. feeling the need to make myself look better by talking down at other people

4. driving poorly

5. learning that "it's ok to take up the entire stairway, they can walk up the super skinny side of the spiral staircase"

6. not figuring out that "Hey maybe I should let the person get off the train first before I get on"

7. that I should say that I hate the US for being warmongers, but try to be like the US in every way shape and form possible.

8. embarass people that can't speak my ridiculous language publicly.

9. raise my kids to be spoiled, entitled, little twirps.

10. think it's ok to NOT thank someone for holding a door open for me.

get out the tattoo kit and write it on my forehead.
05:40 November 21, 2011 by nathan45
Dozens of Islamic terrorists that are arrested every year across Europe and the world and the ones who dont get arrested and kill dozens or hundreds like subway bombings and car bombings like in Spain that killed 191 or in Sweden not long ago there was an attack by crazy Muslims trying to kill the innocent people. The cheap labour and kabob shops arent worth the safety of our people and the constantly being sued or fired for speaking out about it.
12:07 November 21, 2011 by rise
@ mewatchingyou

If "multiculture" is working so good then why are there places like for example Chinatown and Little Italy? Because people from different cultures in the end finds themselves among people of the same culture as their own. And I'm speaking of ordinary day to day life and not special celebrations or holidays or such.

@ beeforsty

"What distinguished America to be great nation among all nations is they don't define their citizenship base on race or religion,"

"Citizenship" is only a piece of paper or a plastic card, and I assume you're only referring to the time after 1964 (ever heard of Martin Luther King and his struggles?). But "great nation among all nations"?! Typical American self righteousness.
14:37 November 21, 2011 by mewatchingyou
@ BritVik,

Wow! Excellent story I must admit! Exceptional kudos to you! Although I think that in the West Indies among other places is close to Utopia :)

@ rise

Then rise how come it works in other parts of the world and not in Sweden...Maybe, just maybe you guys need to figure it out...I know why because I have lived in it...Maybe find the root to ALL of these ''ills'' in societies that you guys choose to see. I can go into depth here but I have limited time and to be quite honest it will be wasted time...All you ''allegedly 1st world people'' (there goes yet another label boast about how great you are but in reality, look at the people who sincerely live their lives genuinely happy...Whats also funny is that you mention little Italy and Chinatown...Ummm have you ever travelled outside of Sweden?? I have almost every other week and I can tell you for example, there is a little Sweden in the nice and sunny Tenerife...Why is that? Isnt it the same thing? This is yet another Swedish culture...Blame everyone else and accuse everyone else as criminal and we are from la la land where all is innocent, full of rules and regulations and proper...Swedes can NEVER do anything wrong right? Lets look at the people who are Swedes and sucking the government for everything and blaming it on health where we all know that there are some cases of health issues but totally exaggerated but hey, they sit on the beachside of places like Tenerife, parts of Spain, Thailand or anywhere that has warmth and I guess tax payers no matter where they come from pays for it.....disgusting! How about the bank frauds thats happening in sweden with all the top heads of certain banks? How about the drunken crimes that Swedes do on a weekly basis...How about your very own former Olympic athlete coming out and saying he was sexually molested?? No it seems like you guys have the 9 day syndrome...After 9 days you forget...Lets look at Anders Brevik or however his name is spelt...The first hour they blame islam then after realizing its one of their own, he has become someone with religious issues and the terrorist label is dropped! Come on guys, these labels to me makes you even more transparent to those who want to see. You guys need to stop the anti-socialism and have proper manners and maybe then people will feel to integrate!
15:19 November 21, 2011 by rise
@ mewatchingyou

Now you're not only blabbering but are putting words in my mouth as well.
15:29 November 21, 2011 by electric_magnetic
My husband was born in Pakistan, came to Sweden in 2007. Graduated from master's program in Sweden, now is working in a Swedish based company, and he's very successful. His peers, both Swedish and non Swedish equally accept him and appreciate him.
16:22 November 21, 2011 by mewatchingyou
@ rise,

The entire paragraph wasnt actually meant for you...Most was actually meant for Nathan45 with his baseless rhetoric. If you still think that I put words in your mouth, I humbly apologize..Dont get me wrong though, I dont dislike all Swedes..I have met some really great Swedish people who also admit that social issues is a problem with Swedes. My advice always is to try to solve the problem by sincerely wanting to solve it! Simple as this: Your reply to me (who you dont even know mind you) answer by using the word of ''blabbering''. I mean instead of trying to understand what Im saying, you think Im blabbering. Your approach could have been more approachable than that dont you think? It sounds cocky and its the wrong approach. Read between my lines instead. These are the little things that make people not want to talk or integrate with Swedes. The same goes when you open the door to someone and they watch you like you are nothing and not even a ''Thank you'' or in the bus, train or tram, you bump into someone harshly and it seems that replying by saying ''Im sorry'' is like rocket science. Or if you cheerfully tell your neighbours good morning and their reply is an awkward half smile or not a smile at all and look at you as if you are crazy then nervously walk away! I mean these things are just basic traits that one should have but apperently its not evident in many Swedes.

Anyway, I just think that before you speak, you MUST find the root to the problems. People blame islam and is on this islamophobia without knowing what islam is truly about..Heck Im not even a muslim but I TOTALLY understand what is happening in this world that we ALL live in. There are deeper evils to this world that you guys would not even begin to imagine. So before you believe everything you read in your history books, your daily Metro/Aftonbladet or your tv news channels just remember that there are always 2 truths..the real truth and the fabricated truth. I will always respect the good! Before people curse islam maybe you should find out the true history about where this has ''problem'' began and who profits from it, then you can have an understanding of what is reality and what is fiction.

So sorry for straying from the point but my point actually is part of the problem. If you understand fully the world we live in and fully understand its similarities from the past you will understand why things are the way they are. Its just up to individuals to change their mode of thought without favor or prejudice! Regards!
20:21 November 21, 2011 by rise
@ mewatchingyou

"The entire paragraph wasnt actually meant for you...Most was actually meant for Nathan45 with his baseless rhetoric. If you still think that I put words in your mouth, I humbly apologize."

Of course I thought it meant for me with all that text under my signature. ;) But now I know and of course there isn't anything to apologize for! There ARE those people who just love the game of twisting words, coming with statements that you have never even said. Therefore my impression of you blabbering, but like you said, we don't know each other. ;)

Anyhow, your mention of a "little Sweden" at Tenerife you could just put next to my examples of Chinatown and Little Italy. This "little Sweden" is only proving my point: Italians among themselves and Swedes among themselves, or Chinese, or Iranians or whoever. With as little interaction with one another as possible.

"Multiculture" is no more than a delusion in the mind of a politician. Take an average Swedish town: the Swedes are living "over here" and the refugees "over there"; and not amongst each other. To much differens in cultures, one cannot stand the other for far too long, I guess. It is a "we" and there is a "them". I did move myself when refugees came living too close...

And traveling outside of Sweden (if that was meant for me)? Not that I'm sure of what that's got to do with anything, but I've been to England/London, southern EU and eastern Europe (non EU country). However traveling and meeting other people and cultures is NOT the same thing as immigration/emigration, living and spending your life in/among an other culture than that of your own.
03:28 November 22, 2011 by waffen
One person had the right answer.

When you do not look like a Swede, you are not a Swede, and even though you dress like a Swede, and assimilate, you will never be considered Swedish, for one slimple reason:you aren't.

As for the United States, that comparison is fraught.

There are Swedes and German and Norwegians and Swiss, et al, whose ancestry is such, and even in the United States to this day, they separate into enclaves and different parts of towns. Swede Hill, Irishtown, Little Italy, and the Swiss in one section as well I have seen this and lived this.

When your ancestors are Swedish, who came from Sweden, or they are second generation Swedes in the States, they are still Swedish, and their Nationality is American. When they still practice the culture and tradions of Sweden, they are even more so Swedish. When such people do go to live in Sweden, they are Swedish. Some might have the language, some might not, but when their name and the area from which their parents and grandparents came from still has that same named people living there , they are Swedes.

Those who come from an entirely different country and who have no cultural or genetic roots in Sweden, even though they are born in Sweden, are not Swedish, but are Swedes by Nationality only, When they make no effort to assimilate whatsoever, by dress, or temperment, they are immigrants, not Swedes, and they will ever be seen as immigrants.

One other note about the U.S. When you are not born in Maine, you are always "from away," even when you are purely an American who was born in the United States and has lived in the United States all of your life, in Maine you are "from away," and you might as well be an immigrant.

Do not think that the United States is one big melting pot of all Americans, that is a myth.
12:29 November 22, 2011 by Kareen
I like the comment that "Sweden is COLD and its not just the Weather"!! Rightly put! I have worked in an international organisation headed by Swedes for 10 years and believe me, they conduct meetings in Swedish. This organisation is even not based in Sweden, but because the majority of the staff are Swedes and the head is Swede, they consider everybody as nothing! I find it difficult to believe that Swedes are a freindly bunch. They pretend with all political correctness but deep inside, the Swedes are most descriminating bunch I have met. Even when you try to learn Swedish, they will look at you with suspision, try as much as possible to isolate you etc. Once a prominent Swedish goverment person told me that if I ever learn Swedish, I should not make it known to my colleagues and bosses because as he put it "Swedes dont like it" There you have it! All this integration crap is just that, crap because they dont want that to happen. But the world has allot of good people. Africans are more welcoming than any other races in the world! Challenge that!

So back to the question, Imigrants in Sweden will always be imigrants because the Swedes are a cold bunch!
12:59 November 22, 2011 by drones
It doesn't really matter whether you call them immigrant or not. This is just a mind set that should be able to deal with facts. The question one should be asking is, are they entitled to the same rights and benefits as other fellow swedes? If they are, then the label shouldn't really be an issue at all. After all, aren't they immigrants?
18:45 November 22, 2011 by rise
@ waffen

Precisely the point I was trying to get to, only you did it so much better than I could! :)
19:40 November 22, 2011 by Social Hypocrisy
A lot of swedes have a small man complex, the legecy of hundreds of years of poverty, a few years of wealth after turning a blind eye to the nazi's, and then 50 years of being told that they live in nirvana and are morally superior to the rest of the world. Yes sweden was a pretty cool place in the 80's but thats a long time ago. Europe and sweden is about to become the spit bucket of the developing world (india/china/and in time africa) the west sweden included stopped developing a long time ago.

Anyone who still belives that china and india are some kind of subhuman backwater are soon to be shaken from a dangerous dream. Swedes arnt bad or stupid they have just been brainwashed to stop the mass exodus at the beggining of the last centuary. The talented ones of course still leave mostly to developing countries as mentioned above.

Im optimistic. I see it every day... more and more swedes wake up realising that sweden is not that special, they are no better educated than the rest of the world, and that their hands too are bloody (colonialisation and slave trading was carried out by sweden too). Out of the dismantaling of their false identity will come fear, hatred, anger, rage... and finally when they can no longer deny the truth... humility.

Pain is the denial of undenialble truths.
03:16 November 23, 2011 by godnatt

"in USA even you deliver pizza you can earn 7000dollars per month plus you have good house and outstanding car."

Hahahahahahaha. You've clearly never been far from whatever sweltering hellhole you live in much less to the US have you?
21:50 November 23, 2011 by axiom
One just has to read these forums to see this exemplified time and time again.

Even by fellow immigrants ! ! !

I moved here a few years ago, my other half is Swedish and she knows very well that this is a fear I have about having children in Sweden, never made it a secret as I have observed the racial undertones which are more prevalent than the average person observes.

She always politely reminds me that there is no racism in Sweden as she has never seen it happening - no sh*t Sherlock

I was born in a very multi-cultural society and racial labels are things I had very little experience with, we saw people and if your neighbour disliked you, it wasn't because you looked brown it was probably because you drove over his cat.
04:31 November 24, 2011 by Grokh
@Social Hypocrisy

have you been to china and India ?

they are economically developing thanks to the exploitation of their population.

And that is only possible because of their population numbers on the billions, meaning if you don't eat the poop sandwich and work like a robot then someone else will , and then you sell your children to slavery to pay debt which happens often in India.

by my experience sweden tries to show swedes how good they have it , thats one of the reasons sweden takes so many war refugees .

THATS humility.
17:03 November 25, 2011 by Social Hypocrisy

no... THATS propaganda!
14:35 November 26, 2011 by Anglosaxon123
Maybe if the Swedes learnt how to smile a bit more, Sweden would be a nicer place to live (for everyone). You guys really need to lighten up a bit. Speaking as a white Englishman, my sympathy is definitely with the immigrants in Sweden (and not the indigenous Swede). On all the occasions I have been in the company of Swedish people, I have found them cold, impersonal and gloomy looking. They will happily give you a really cold glare when sharing a Lift with you - unlike here in Northern England, where a complete stranger will give you a smile, ask you which floor you want, press the button for you, and most probably chat with you about the weather, or some other "nonesense conversation". And yes, that even applies to immigrants here. My nextdoor neighbour is a black Somalian. He is currently working as a Traffic Warden here. Every time I see him walking round town, he is chatting away to local youngsters, the elderly, passers by. Yes, he's as black as the Ace of Spades. Who cares. Of course, it would be wrong to suggest that Britain doesn't have racists. We do. However, the social interaction between whites and none-whites here has never been a problem. People talk, people exchange conversation with strangers in the Lift, on the train, in a queue, at the bus stop.

Every time I go on my holidays to Greece or Spain, I always find myself sharing a Lift with a Swede. I give them a smile, and what do I get back in return....? I'll tell ya what, I get a face which looks like a slapped ass. Why? What's wrong with you people? :)

I'm sure the Swedes are lovely people underneath the surface of that cold exterior. But surely folks, it's time you grew up as a nation. A few decades ago, you were almost invisible. Nowadays, you are part of the Big World.

Good Luck to all the none-white families who live in Sweden! And a Merry Christmas to you all! :)
19:59 November 26, 2011 by ronniepeng
For my situation, I'm a Chinese that have studied and worked here for four years. I learn Swedish, I tried to engage in conversations with my colleagues. I may have stated to like cheese and coffee more and more since I'm more used to them. And my values and ideas may have been influenced more and more by the Swedish society. I have to admit this.

However, I would always consider myself Chinese, no matter how long I have lived here and how much I have changed. I would never consider myself a Swede. Why would I? Because I have a clear idea in my head what is a Sweden, and I'm not!

And what's wrong being an immigrant? I'm extremely comfortable to call myself an immigrant, because that's exactly what I have chosen to be so far. It's great. Globalization is great and immigration is a great part of it. And I'm happy that I'm an immigrant. Being myself, but living in a different place, isn't this great?

And if I'm not happy about it in the future, I can always go back and stop being an immigrant. It's just a choice of life! A way of life!

And what I'm doing, learning Swedish and drinking coffee, is just going to make my life here easier and happier. There's no conflict. I'm a Chinese, adapted to the Swedish way. That's all.

And for the Swedes, I don't see them as being too cold or anything. I don't think Chinese are warmer than them (maybe louder..). Not to mention the Japanese. Yes, almost no strangers talk to me, but I don't have a problem with it.

So far, I like the Swedish people and the society. So far...
21:25 November 26, 2011 by rise
@ Anglosaxon123

"I'm sure the Swedes are lovely people underneath the surface of that cold exterior. But surely folks, it's time you grew up as a nation."

People should stop telling Swedes how we should and shouldn't be. It isn't for you to decide. We are who we are. Not everyone in the world wants to play your social, fake game in which everybody pretends to love everybody.

And why is it so important that Swedes should always like you, strangers? What difference does it make? I for one isn't going to pretend anything. That doesn't mean Swedes automatically dislikes strangers, no, a Swede just doesn't care too much about you as you seem to wish.
10:49 November 27, 2011 by johan rebel
Assimilate, assimiilate, assimilate. As an immigrant you just have to try harder. Nobody said life is fair. It isn't.
13:50 November 27, 2011 by parabola
This is not something that bothers me personally. I am a black American who has been here nearly 2 years and I will probably always consider myself American before Swedish no matter how long I live here. That said, I do find it interesting how people react to me: If I'm speaking my not-so-good Swedish, that's one thing. If I speak English, then everyone wants to ask me about Obama and the Sears Tower (I'm from Chicago) and tell me about their relative who lives in LA. It's an interesting phenomenon. I don't know how I feel about it yet. I guess I'm more worried that my (future) kids feel accepted and integrated here. But as for myself, I don't really care.
11:44 November 28, 2011 by rise
@ parabola

"I guess I'm more worried that my (future) kids feel accepted and integrated here. But as for myself, I don't really care."

I don't think they're going to have a problem with that. I remember when I was a little boy and began school; we had two pupils in the class who had a black skin. Nobody spoke of it. Nobody cared. Those two were just children among other children. If one felt anything at all about them, it would be that I felt sorry for them, separated as they were from their real parents (and adopted from Chile). And a third kid, adopted from Korea, I met about 25 years ago and am still considering as my friend. Now, am I with my blue eyes and blond hair and actually born in Sweden more a Swede than these three? Not the way I see it anyway. To say the opposite would be to betray my friends.

You however will never be a Swede, immigrant as you are and not adopted as a child and raised into our culture. But why should you even become a "Swede"? There's no reason. Don't betray your roots. Your children however will likely be more Swedish than American, as good or bad as it is...
13:06 November 28, 2011 by Omarbete
Having lived in sweden for twenty years I am not really worried of being accepted and/or integrated. People behave like they are treated. If the majority society ignores a group then the group will finds a parallel co-existance rather than integration.
19:58 November 28, 2011 by Zombie
I´m an immigrant.

I´m portuguese.

I´ll never be seen as a swede, and i´m proud to be a portuguese.

Having said that:

I love Sweden and Swedish culture.

I gladly contibute to society with my work and taxes in Sweden.

I have Swedish friends and I I´m learningt he language.

I think Sweden is a better country than my own country.

For all of this, I will always call Sweden my home, even if i´m always seen as an immigrant here.
21:10 November 28, 2011 by HeltNorsk
Being a very typical Nordic Person, I love Scandinavia. Norway, Sweden and Denmark used to be a safe place to live, 40 years ago. The Government changed our lives. Rhe Goverment TOLD us that we are no longer driving on the left side of the road. The Govenment keeps bringing people into our Countries without the means to properly house, feed and employ them. And who pays for it.. we do. Scandinavia has the highest taxes. If this keeps going on the " Government" will go bankrupt and who pays for that, we do! Stockholm's air quality is worse than Los Angeles, more people more smog. More people more crime. ( And the fact that more immigrants and Swedes are unemployed too. ) WE, are just now becoming fed up.
21:16 November 28, 2011 by ahnu
@ axiom

"I was born in a very multi-cultural society and racial labels are things I had very little experience with, we saw people and if your neighbor disliked you, it wasn't because you looked brown it was probably because you drove over his cat."

I completely agree with you on this.
21:37 November 28, 2011 by HeltNorsk
Something my mom used to say to me, " If you don't like it, get out and don't let the door hit you in the behind". The "Government" never asked us if we wanted to have all these foreiners live here. If they had, the answer would have been, no thanks! If you are staying get a job and grow up.
23:17 November 28, 2011 by rise
@ HeltNorsk

It's funny. Higher up I wrote "...I've been to England/London, southern EU and eastern Europe (non EU country).". The funny part is that I didn't even think of the other Nordic countries. But of course I've been in Finland as well, and to Norway countless of times. But somehow that just doesn't count. It's as natural to travel to Östersund as it is going to Trondheim. Never mind that one city is in one country and the other in an entirely different country! That's not something you ever think of when going between Sweden and Norway. :)
23:53 November 28, 2011 by ronniepeng

Aha. What you are saying is simply the democratic system went wrong on the immigration policy. Because if it has worked, the policies should have represented the common ideas of the Swedish people.

Or maybe it has worked, it's just that your idea doesn't belong to the majority of the country??
09:38 November 29, 2011 by rise
@ ronniepeng

"Because if it has worked, the policies should have represented the common ideas of the Swedish people."

I don't think it's a Swede but a Norwegian speaking: HeltNorsk means "completely Norwegian". ;) Not that I know if it matters much, considering we're much of a same people and culture anyway...
14:38 November 29, 2011 by Omarbete
I am an immigrant from Africa. I have been here 20 for 20 years. I always had a job, paid taxes and followed the rules of this country. I have the rights and obligations of every citizen in this country! I have no problem and do not complain. My question is who do I expect to accept me? If the question is ethnicity and not citizenship then it may sound like apartheid!?
16:20 November 29, 2011 by yourkidding
It won't be until this generation of Swedes and, possibly immigrants, dies and possibly the next as well. While the old die hard Swedes are still alive and remember a time before world travel, television, air travel availability and the internet, this can't happen. Also as long as immigrantsstill act as if they are living in their old culture/homeland and will not adapt it cannot happen either. The world's citizens are becoming more transient and moving around a lot more and that is just how it is and will continue to be, probably to a greater extent even than it is now. Borders as far as a race or demographic of specific people, is frankly, a thing of the past. However, those still living in the past will go out kicking and screaming. Change and evolution of a sort is inevitable and to remain unmovable and unchangable simply forces one to become obsolete. But , sorry guys, we won't see acceptance in our lifetime and maybe not in our childrens, the predjudices (from BOTH sides) that is passed down dwindles very slowly.
13:23 November 30, 2011 by alieninsweden
Given that Scandinavians are themselves immigrants (mostly from what is today north Germany), the Saami were here at least 10000 years ago, its interesting that there is little mention of Swedes 'integrating' into the true 'native' culture. It's historically inaccurate to portray what is considered here as native (European) Swedes as 'native.' Europeans are not native to Scandinavia. Saami are.
16:54 November 30, 2011 by rise
@ alieninsweden

How far back in history are you willing to go? Back to the lastest ice age? Maybe even to the time before the glacial period..? Who's to say how long a time span is relevant and which are not?

If scientists is to be believed we are ALL emigrants from Africa for some 50000-70000 years ago. :P
17:02 December 1, 2011 by alieninsweden

Regarding Sweden, I think its reasonable to go back 10000 years since the Saami are still here, despite the European invasion and its detrimental effects on their way of life and sovereignty.

But you're right, I think we should even go back further, which would result in the recognition that there is little foundation for nationalistic (and often racist) claims to territories the world over.
21:15 December 1, 2011 by HeltNorsk
@rise. You are correct, I am Norsk. My spouse is Swedish. National Geographic did an extensive piece on why we immigrated during the ice age. We all immigrated because of the need for food and warmth. They also included why we are white, black. I dislike racism. Especially after watching this. We are white because of our environment. If anyone gets a chance watch it. On a lighter note, stay in the North and you too will be white, lol. Our environment determine our pigment! In regards to the unemployment, I have good friends that have moved to different parts of the Country, because of lack of jobs. If you can't find a job where you are, move. We all need to work, we all have families. Oh, the National Geograhphic Channel, this show, says that we all started out looking Asian with different shades. ( Some darker, some lighter.) I still disagree with how the Government handles themselves.
06:32 December 3, 2011 by strixy
@Anglosaxon123 (119)

I could not agree with you more! I have moved to Scandinavia from the UK and hey, the difference is immense. I am from Eastern Europe (no worries, I am not here to steal your jobs though :P) and I can honestly say that living in the Northern England was the best time of my life. Communities are also small there but open and warm, people are chatty and helpful. I was valued for my education, skills, willingness to work and it felt good to be able to contribute with my taxes to such a great country that offered me a job and a living based not on who I knew (noone) but who I was and how god I was at my job.

Now, sadly, when I say 'hei' to people I see in the local park every day, most of them pretend they are tree-watching. The rest freaks out, mumbles something and escapes quickly. When a neighbour bought some heavy stuff and needed help getting it up the stairs from the car, we were the only people to help out - the rest stared from behind the curtains (I could see them). We were thanked just too effusively - a clear sign that politeness and selflessness is not encountered often.

I think it must be even worse for someone who is not white. Or for someone with a strong accent (I am mistaken for being British due to my accent, so I can only imagine how it feels if you have a true Eastern European accent).

If you don't like immigrants, change the government and stop taking them in. If you want to take the advantage of cheap workforce, then you have to be more open. If you actively engage in the propaganda that attracts aasylum seekers, then why are you surprised they keep banging on the door? It's like inviting too many people to dinner - whose fault exactly is this if they all show up?
16:26 December 7, 2011 by BritVik
Reading through the foregoing comments, I get the feeling that it is small wonder that people are not integrating with the Swedes. Most seem to have a chip of some kind on their shoulder - a grudge against things Sweden and Swedish. If things are that bad, then why in hell are you still here. Clear off back to whence you came, or shut up and do everyone a favour and start to smile at those around you and create some warmth. You have to give to receive.

You can't blame the people for your own shortcomings, so where do you go from here? Remember . 'When in Rome do as the Romans do.' There is no reason on earth why the Swedes should be anything else but Swedes.
10:32 December 14, 2011 by Achilles7
The country you're born in has little bearing on what nationality you really are. What makes you one nationality rather than another are your beliefs, your customs, your traditions, your home language, and, rightly or wrongly, your appearance.

If you have dark skin, wear a veil, pray in a Mosque, talk Arabic at home with your family, and make little attempt to integrate into Swedish society, then you're not really Swedish are you?
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